Thjnk - known until summer 2012 as KemperTrautmann - is a leading agency in Germany, widely admired for its creative expertise. In 2011, it was one of the world's top five agencies by awards won. In 2014 it was Agency of the Year in the Euro Effie Awards. Headquartered in Hamburg, Thjnk also has offices in Berlin, Duesseldorf and Munich, as well as a small collection of specialist subsidiaries, including design shop Loved. Leo's Thjnk Tank is a joint venture with Leo Burnett, formed in 2014 to handle the local McDonald's account. In 2016, the agency also launched a dedicated unit for German engineering giant ThyssenKrupp under the name Bobby & Carl. A New York office of Thjnk opened in 2015, followed by a Zurich outpost in 2016. The business was founded in 2004 by Andre Kemper and Michael Trautmann, previously colleagues at another renowned independent, Springer & Jacoby. Trautmann also spent some time as global marketing director of Audi, whose local account was among the agency's founding clients. (His brother Andreas was for several years CEO of McCann Germany). Kemper and Trautmann began moves to dissolve their partnership in 2012, with Armin Jochum und Karen Heumann joining the agency as additional partners. That prompted a name-change to the initials of the four partners (THJ & K). Kemper resigned from the business in 2014, transferring his shares to the three remaining partners, each of whom heads one of the group's main German offices. After years of independence, Thjnk finally accepted a buyout from WPP in summer 2017, becoming a standalone agency in the British group's agency portfolio. Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
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Who are the competitors of Thjnk? see Germany's Leading Advertising Agencies
Capsule checked 3rd May 2016
Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Jul 2017: WPP added to its portfolio with the acquisition of Thjnk, one of Germany's most admired independents, named Agency of the Year this year by trade paper W&V. The negotiations were handled in strict secrecy by none other than Sir Martin Sorrell himself. No price tag has been disclosed, and Thjnk is expected to continue as a standalone unit within the group alongside its major international networks and local resource Scholz & Friends. Founding partners Michael Trautmann, Karen Heumann, Armin Jochum and Ulrich Pallas will continue to lead the business. The deal represents a significant win for WPP in Germany. The only potential problem would be the future of Leo's Thjnk Tank, a joint venture with Publicis which handles the local McDonald's account.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Oct 2015: Ads of the Week: "Rainmaker?". Volkswagen's Audi brand hopes to power on through the emissions scandal with this spectacular new spot from its German agency, indie Thjnk. The theme is once again the weather - see, it's not just the British who are obsessed with the elements - following up an earlier rain-related campaign. Great ad, and by the standards of most German advertising, truly ahead of its class.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Oct 2014: McDonald's has put an end to a 43-year relationship with German agency Heye & Partner. Following a review, the fast-feeder appointed has Leo Burnett and indie Thjnk to handle the account jointly under the banner "Leo's Thjnk Tank". The account loss creates a significant cloud over Heye & Partner, which is affiliated to the DDB network. It had shared the business with the local office of TBWA, which also leaves the roster (though the TBWA network continues to handle McDonald's in France and other countries). Leo Burnett already works for McD in several other key regional markets, most notably the UK. The change prompts further speculation that the restaurant giant might be preparing to drop its long-running "I'm Loving It" slogan, which was originally created by Heye.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Mar 2014: Vienna's high society Opera Ball received global tabloid coverage this week after reality star Kim Kardashian stormed out of the white-tie event, reportedly because of a racist insult aimed at her fiance Kanye West. However the German marketing media were much more excited about the punch-up between renowned advertising executive Andre Kemper and a fellow partygoer, all captured on camera. Kemper came to the assistance of his friend, the German TV presenter Johannes Kerner, who was being verbally accosted by another guest, an elderly but clearly inebriated businessman. Finally, Kemper swung a punch at the older man, cutting open his chin. Who would have guessed that a night at the opera could be so exciting? The timing of the incident was not ideal as far as Kemper is concerned, since he is currently negotiating to join WPP-owned Scholz & Friends to take charge of the Opel auto account. He finally agreed terms this week for his resignation from his current agency Thjnk, formerly Kemper Trautmann, but the public brawl will not have impressed his new potential employers at WPP or Opel's notoriously conservative owner General Motors.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Feb 2014: The German business press has been abuzz over the past week regarding a so-called "divorce" between renowned local creative guru Andre Kemper and his three co-partners at independent agency Thjnk, formerly KemperTrautmann. Kemper has already relinquished day-to-day management of that agency but wants to sell his remaining shares in order to join larger rival Scholz & Friends, the WPP subsidiary which handles creative for auto giant Opel. According to trade media, Opel's new marketing chief Tina Mueller wants Kemper to head a new dedicated unit within Scholz to manage the account. However he can't take that job unless he sells his share in Thjnk, and so far he and his three partners can't agree on a valuation of the business.
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